US-German Dual Citizenship: Is it Possible and How to Apply

US-German Dual Citizenship: Is it Possible and How to Apply

Dual citizenship is recognised in both Germany and the US, but only in certain circumstances. Generally speaking, obtaining dual citizenship in the USA and Germany by birth is acceptable, regardless of where you were born. However, naturalised individuals cannot hold dual citizenship in both the US and Germany unless extraordinary conditions exist.

Do I Qualify for Dual Citizenship in Germany and the US?

You are eligible for dual citizenship in Germany and the USA if you can demonstrate that you were born to German and American parents. Your birth must have been registered with the appropriate German authorities before your first birthday if you were born in the US.

You also need to fulfil the following qualifying requirements, depending on where you were born:

    • Born after 1993 with one German parent: Eligible for dual US-German citizenship, regardless of parents’ marital status.
    • Born before 1993 to unmarried parents: Eligible for dual US-German citizenship if the German parent acknowledged you as their child.

How Can an American Get a German Passport?

    1. Obtain a German passport as an American through citizenship by:
      • Naturalization requires at least eight years of residence in Germany as a permanent resident.
      • Exemption from residency requirement if demonstrating political or financial difficulties due to retaining US citizenship while naturalizing in Germany.
    2. Obtain a German passport as an American through descent if:
      • One of your parents is a German citizen.
      • Eligible for citizenship in Germany based on ancestry, allowing you to maintain both nationalities.

How Do Applications Proceed?

You must deliver a list of supporting documentation and an application form to the Federal Office for both naturalisation and citizenship by descent applications.

    • For a decent application, you must send the required paperwork to a regional US mission, which will then send it on to the federal office.
    • You can submit a naturalisation application to the relevant German authorities in your German municipality.

What Documents Do I Need to Gather?

Depending on your circumstances, the documentation may differ, but often include the following:

    • Your national ID and US passport.
    • Your residency permit is in Germany.
    • The application form.
    • For citizenship by descent, evidence of your ancestors’ German citizenship, which may include:
      • Germany’s previous passport.
      • Refugee papers.
      • Family novel.
      • Marriage license.
      • Birth registration.
    • Proof of German language proficiency.
    • Documentation demonstrating financial stability.

Dual Citizenship for German-born US Citizens

You can keep both citizenship if you were born in Germany to US parents. Before you turn 23 though, you must select one citizenship. Please be aware that if you were born on a US military base in Germany, this condition also applies to you.

Dual Citizenship through Marriage: Germany and the US

You cannot obtain dual citizenship in the US and Germany if you marry a German national. Give up your US citizenship if you want to seek naturalisation as a German. However, keep in mind that you must reside in Germany for at least three years after getting married to be eligible for a German passport through marriage.

Suggestions for Dual Citizens of Germany and the US

If you qualify for dual citizenship between the USA and Germany, consider the following:

    • Use the appropriate passport for entry: a US passport for entering the US, and a German passport for entering Germany.
    • Adhere to the laws of your current country of residence.
    • Your citizenship status depends on your location: US citizen in the US, and German citizen in Germany.
    • Consular protection may not be as comprehensive in both Germany and the US.
    • Male individuals, regardless of German citizenship, must register with the U.S. Selective Service System within three months of turning 18.

How Do Dual Citizens Pay Taxes?

No matter where they live or how much money they make, dual citizens of the US must file tax returns in the USA. However, the US has various bilateral tax agreements that help you avoid double taxation to make life simpler for people who live overseas.

Dual Citizenship Between Germany and the US: Positive and Negative

Positive Negative
Visa-free travel to more than 180 nations double dipping
access to countries in the US and the EU Having trouble getting a job in the government
going to third countries with German and US consular protection Double duty in the military
In two nations, you can freely work and study. legal responsibilities twice

In conclusion, dual citizenship between the USA and Germany offers unique opportunities and responsibilities. While it grants individuals the privilege of belonging to both nations, it also requires them to navigate the legal and practical aspects of dual nationality, including passport usage, legal compliance, and consular rights and obligations.

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